You have to hand it to CNN: Even with abysmal ratings, the 24-hr news network manages to keep things gay. Anderson Cooper officially “came out” in early July, joining fellow anchor Don Lemon on the out-of-the-closet news team.
And it’s not just the on-air talent. CNN has a has a special relationship with Gays and Lesbians Allied Against Defamation (GLAAD), the activist group. CNN parent TimeWarner is a “Platinum Underwriter” of the GLAAD Media Awards. So are the three broadcast networks. What makes CNN special is its give-and-take with GLAAD.
CNN has mentioned or turned to GLAAD for opinions and expertise on gay-related stories at least 41 times in the last two years. That’s compared to just two mentions on the three broadcast networks combined. In many cases, GLAAD’s view was presented unopposed.
Note to TV networks: Don't even think about downsizing the disproportionate airtime you give gay characters and issues. The bean-counters at GLAAD are watching.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), in its fifth annual "Network Responsibility Index," recently ranked 15 networks based on their inclusion of LGBT characters on original primetime shows that aired nationally.
"Sponsors of those [sic] Stars on Ice figure skating tour apparently think that Olympian Johnny Weir is too flamboyant for their show. Weir reportedly prohibited from participating because he is not, quote, 'family friendly,'" MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan complained shortly before 5 p.m. on his MSNBC program today, citing a report by a blog published by GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation].
Ratigan griped that despite Weir's athletic credentials and well-known support of his family -- he's financing his brother's college education and supporting his father, who is unable to work due to a disability -- that the sponsors of the show, including Smucker's, "apparently... don't view supporting your family as family-friendly."
Ratigan then noted an online petition circulating to include Weir in the tour, but failed to include any reply from Stars on Ice, although just a few minutes before Ratigan went on the air, at least one news source had noted that Stars on Ice denied GLAAD's allegation.
Gay/lesbian publication MetroWeekly.com's Chris Geidner published the following to the Web at 4:38 p.m. EST, about 13 minutes before Ratigan went on air to further GLAAD's complaint on air (emphases mine):